Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Winners Announced for 2015 Lincoln Day Essay Contest

Congrats to the winners of the 2015 Wasatch County Lincoln Day Essay Contest! You can read all the essays at http://www.wasatchgop.com

2015 Wasatch County Lincoln Day Essay Contest Winners
$200 - Overall Winner: Joseph Cieslewicz, 11th Grade
$100 - Adult Category Winner: Pam Fredericks
$100 - High School Category Winner: Aaron Johnson, 12th Grade
$100 - 5th to 8th Grade Category Winner: Caleb Roper, 7th Grade
$100 - 4th Grade and Under Winner: Shelby Gabrielson, 4th Grade

Lincoln Day Essay Submission by Governor Gary R. Herbert

Utah is Still the Right Place
By Governor Gary R. Herbert


When leader Brigham Young first overlooked the majestic Salt Lake Valley at the end of the Mormon Pioneers’ trek west in 1847, he famously remarked: “This is the right place.”

Today, nearly 168 years later, Young’s words still resonate – for a variety of reasons. Our population, much like the entire state, has blossomed like the rose, from a few thousand hardy pioneers to nearly three million people.

And many more keep coming.

They come to put down roots, to take up skiing, and to hike and bike our beautiful mountains and red rock canyons. They come for the Utah lifestyle, our clean cities, safe streets and neighborhoods. And increasingly, they come to do business.

A quick look at the numbers reveals why.

Our unemployment rate has dropped from a high of 8.4 percent when I took office in 2009 to 3.5 percent today, the fourth-lowest in the nation. Utah’s job growth rate is 3.9  percent, almost double the national average of 2.2 percent. Over the past year, Utah has created nearly 51,000 jobs. Moreover, Utah has the fourth-most diverse economy in America.

Everyone knows about California’s famed Silicon Valley, but people are now becoming familiar with Utah’s “Silicon Slopes” – the cluster of information technology and software development firms along the Wasatch Front that is leading the world in innovative memory process technology, thanks to IM Flash, Adobe and Oracle, among others.

We also are home to a burgeoning life sciences industry – a community highlighted by Merit Medical, Fresenius, Edwards Lifesciences and other multinational companies. And we have a skilled and bilingual workforce. Utahns speak more than 130 languages in commerce every day.

 Not surprisingly, our success is garnering national attention.

Forbes magazine has named Utah the “Best State for Business and Careers” for four of the past five years. Earlier this month, the  U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recognized Utah in its “Enterprising States Report” for being the top overall performing state in the nation for the past two years. And the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ranked Utah number one in 2014 for “Economic Dynamism.”

So what is Utah’s secret?

Absolutely nothing. We simply believe in the fundamentals that govern success and consistently do our best to execute them.

For example, we have low, competitive and consistent tax rates.

Utah collects the 44th lowest amount of revenue per capita in the nation. Of the 45 states that have corporate tax rates, Utah is tied for the third lowest. We haven’t raised the corporate tax rate in more than 15 years, which allows business owners to focus on creating jobs and expanding their bottom line rather than paying more taxes to expand the size of government.

Speaking of limited government, our state government is smaller today than it was in 2001, even though Utah has added more than over 700,000 new residents. In 2000, there was one employee for every 112 Utahns; today, that ratio is one state employee for every 146 Utahns.

Not only is Utah’s government smaller, it’s more efficient.

Utah offers more than 1,000 services online and we are adding four new services, on average, every month. In 2012, more than 31 million E-government transactions were processed through Utah.gov, saving residents and businesses approximately $46 million.

Regulatory reform is another area where Utah excels. We we have modified or eliminated nearly 400 onerous or unnecessary regulations at the state level, and we are now working with cities across the state to make their regulations more business-friendly.

In Utah, we also believe in living within our means. We save for a rainy day and avoid taking on unnecessary debt. In fact, Utah is one of only a handful of states to maintain a AAA bond rating, and we have done so for 22 consecutive years.

Simply put, there is no better place to live and do business than Utah. Our taxes are low, our entrepreneurial spirit high, and our skilled workforce is educated and highly motivated. We also have an enviable quality of life that is second to none.

Now, more than ever, Utah is the right place.

###

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lincoln Day Essay by Aaron Wade Johnson, 12th Grade

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

By Aaron Wade Johnson, 12th Grade

I believe that Utah is among the best managed states because of its pro-business republican principles. For the most part, Republicans believe in allowing businesses and individuals to regulate the economy rather than relying on governments to step in. This approach is something that could greatly help the American Economy.

Instead of trying to step in and fix the economy by taxing or regulating individuals and businesses, governments should strive to allow the individuals, businesses, and the economy itself, to fix the economy. This being said, it would be illogical for the government to step out of the picture completely, but it might be helpful to change some habits and regulations.

Another thing that might help the United States Government would be to follow the same law that is placed on its states: No individual State governments are allowed to post budget deficits in a fiscal year summary or report. While states are strongly discouraged, there is no such limit placed on the federal government. While this policy is not specifically Republican, many of the pro-business policies of the Republican Party are what allow Utah to maintain a budget in line with this federal law. This pro-business look greatly influences our state economy, earning us top rankings in the nation such as debt per capita: $2,577 (17th lowest); Budget Deficit: 8.2% (32nd largest); and an Unemployment rate of 5.7% (tied for 10th lowest) (information drawn from “Best- and worst-run states: Survey of all 50.” USA Today).

If the United States Government were to model more of its actions and policies after Republican ideals and characteristics, America, its economy, and its 316 million citizens could greatly benefit.

Lincoln Day Essay by Kyla Roper, 4th Grade

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

Kyla Roper, 4th Grade

I believe that the Republican principles make Utah successful because Republicans try not to have debt, they believe in fiscal conservatism, or, not wasting money. This keeps taxes lower and gives people the chance to give their own money to charities and help people how they want to. Republicans believe in being kind and respectful to other people even if they have different ideas. This sets a good example for the rest of the country and it also makes people like Utah and they want to live here, which helps make Utah more successful.

Republicans also believe in liberty and freedom and who doesn’t want that? Having liberty and freedom means we can be more responsible for ourselves and then we need less government. Republicans like smaller government. Wanting to be responsible and work hard and not let the government take over everything could motivate people to do better in school and then we have higher graduation rates and less crime. This also makes Utah a good state that the rest of the country could learn from.

I think Utah is well managed because of the people. They care about where they live and like things to be nice and clean and they like to help each other out and don’t even need the government to take their taxes to make them help the less fortunate. That is the kind of freedom and agency that Republicans believe in. It’s the right to choose things for your families like what you want for jobs, what you want to have and where you want to go and who you want to help. I like Utah because of the activities we can do here and because of the people and I think the rest of the country could be more like us! And then we could set an example for the rest of the continent. And then that would set an example for the rest of the world and if the whole world was good that would be truly awesome! 

Lincoln Day Essay by Pam Fredericks

“Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

By Pam Fredericks

Utah proposed seven times within forty years to become a part of the United States of America. Utah and the United States of America were married January 6th, 1896. Any state that proposes that many times is going to bring with it allegiance, purpose, personality, and tenacity for getting a job done. Those that saw the need to be part of the U.S., had principles that drove those characteristics into action. Utahans, then and now, demonstrate self-reliance, frugality, innovation, creativity, responsibility, and resourcefulness. The principles that Utah governs by are some of the same ones shared by Founding Fathers. Some of those principles translate into what Republicans today base their platform on: limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets to name a few. These principles prove to be universal, constant, and successful, regardless of who’s using them.  However, they are what sets America apart from the rest of the world. Utah has been and continues to be successful because of its dedication to proven American principles.
Utah’s greatest resource is the people’s understanding, appreciation, and application of these principles. Utah is dedicated to these principles because they strengthen individuals, which create families, which build society, which shape business, which produce prosperity.  Utah has been named the 2014, #1 best state for business. It’s not a surprise as we were #3 last year, and #1 from 2010-2012. This conclusion is based on six categories with 36 sub points including: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life. Business costs are broken down into labor, energy, and taxes. Utah comes in with a “pro-business climate” because of lower energy costs, “job growth forecasts”, a technology hub with an enormous talent pool, and a relatively young work source (forbes.com/best-states-for business).
Prosperous states know that there’s a powerful correlation between a strong business environment and a strong individual and family environment. Our Governor, Gary Herbert, said, “Government should get off your backs and out of your wallets” (forbes.com/sites/alanhall). Every sector, which includes, private, non-profit, religious, corporate, and especially government, should all exist to fortify individuals and families. Government leaders should be like wise parents who balance their roles of protecting, providing, and teaching. However, too much of anything is a bad thing. Overindulgent parents cultivate greed, envy, gluttony, pride, lust, sloth, and wrath; known as the seven deadly sins. On the other side, under involved parents can adopt these destructive characteristics. Like dedicated parents, wise elected officials strive for the right balance. We call that limited government.
Limited government, like exceptional parenting, breeds personal performance and productivity. Utah is pleased to have as our state motto the word “Industry”. Utah is not afraid to work. Our unemployment rate of 3.5% is a great compliment to our leaders, and a big accomplishment of Utah citizens. Wise government leaders empower people to take responsibility to create their own prosperity and destiny.  If needs or wants are provided by government programs, then people slowly lose their drive, desire, and value to provide for themselves. They become dependent on the state. Brilliant parents raise their dependents to be independent. The national government seems to glory in having co-dependents.  Government should get satisfaction from helping citizens help themselves. The proper role of government is more of a protective one, not a providing one.  Limitless government takes away opportunities to be generous and charitable. Because of Utah’s view of limiting government, the flat low income tax rate of 5%, lower energy costs, and sensible budgeting skills, Utahans are also able to be the #1 most charitable state (wallethub.com). We can measure success by unemployment rates, government debt ratios, taxes, crime rates, standard of living, business growth, and all sorts of percentages, but there is nothing more important than serving and loving others.
Personal and Fiscal responsibility go hand in hand with free markets.  Free markets allow, expect, and trust people to merit their own way. Free market principles generate entrepreneurship, variety, industry, creativity and quality, because there is incentive and purpose in work. Fiscal responsibility also means managing funds trustworthily. Utah shows this with their balanced budget and two rainy day funds. Utah also does not have legalized gambling. Hawaii is the only other state that does not have some sort of legalized gambling. The website business.utah.gov is very informative and impressive with regards to the governor’s office of economic development.
Utah’s second greatest treasure is the land and its natural resources. Even though 60% of Utah is managed by the federal government, we are able to accomplish a lot with comparatively a little. Only Alaska and Nevada have higher percentages than us. Most of the “well-managed states” are in the west or mid-west where most of the land is considered federal. We can prosper with whatever assets and liabilities we have because of our self-sufficient spirit and industrious attitude.
Utah’s land was used for a very long time for most people’s livelihoods. We have an incredible mining and agriculture heritage. Our mining, farming, and ranching roots are very deep and even though most of us aren’t throwing a pick, irrigating, or branding cattle, the heritage of hard work and frugality that these trades nurture are a blessing. Farmers and ranchers are notorious for keeping things simply because they might need it for something someday. We know how to use the land advantageously. We are very fortunate to have a vast variety of landscapes and environments that travel and tourism maximize revenues on.
Utah is a well-run entity purely because of its people, in and out of leadership, that choose to live by valid principles. Six out of the top ten states for business in 2014, have Republican traditions. They are: Utah, North Dakota, North Carolina, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Political officers have immense power in effecting people’s lives. But, they are not or ever will be solely responsible for the happiness and prosperity of a state or nation. The great American test is that each person is responsible for their own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, regardless of what anyone else does.
Thomas Jefferson said, “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock” (brainyquote.com). If we stand like a rock to what’s good and right, and what works best, then currents will not have power to drown us.  America is forgetting what matters most. America is fighting upstream battles. We’ve twisted styles into principles, and principles into style. Styles change and cycle but principles persist and prove. We’re also losing the ability and freedom to choose and create our own styles and be individual innovators. What’s best for an individual is always right for society but what’s right for society is not always best for an individual. People give up their personal liberty all the time. How can we think about the problems of America when we are blinded by their own? People are sometimes blind and deceived because of the actions they have chosen for themselves, and the blame and the criticisms that are darting through the air. Talk about clean air…let’s talk about negativity and sarcasm. Talk about less spending…let’s talk about greed and laziness. Talk about a balanced budget…let’s talk about practicality and responsibility. Talk about health care…let’s talk about anger and self-worth. Talk about national defense…let’s talk about addictions and morals. Talk about what makes Utah stand out…let’s talk about true principles that have been handed down for generations. The “American Spirit” is alive and well in Utah and is the main reason it’s considered a top spot for business.
 Are we the land of the free and the home of the brave or are we the land of the spending spree and the home of the latest craze? The government is trying to be everything to everybody. It’s impossible. America is like the parents who spoil and try to “fix” things with more control and spending. We don’t have a balanced budget. We are over-regulating and over-spending ourselves into a catastrophe. Utahans understand the excruciating task of keeping things balanced is critical to happiness in our hearts, homes, and homeland.
The ideals that have guided this relatively young state, were ideas that drove America’s Founding Fathers, such as natural rights in a representative republic where power is given to the people to maintain a strong overall welfare, which will only succeed if they are virtuous and moral.  Freedom is based on the ability to choose-not whether it’s right or wrong, but the opportunity and ability to make choices. Hopefully, it is self-control that is affiliated with today’s Republican Party. Republican principles are based on classic, unrelenting, American-revolution inspired morals and virtues. The United States needs to get back to “American Principles”. If America is going to be successful financially and socially, Utah and all the other states need to divorce itself from any part of any principle that spoils society, breaks businesses, fines families, or impairs individuals.  

Lincoln Day Essay by Joseph Cieslewicz, 11th Grade

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

Joseph Cieslewicz, 11th Grade. 

Fiscal responsibility has always been an integral American value. President William McKinkley declared in 1896 that “The income of the government, I repeat, should equal its necessary and proper expenditures. A failure to pursue this policy has compelled the government to borrow money in a time of peace, to sustain its credit and pay its daily expenses. This policy should be reversed, and that, too, as speedily as possible.”[1] These Republican principles are even more relevant today, though they are increasingly disregarded. Guided by similar principles, the State of Utah has developed sound fiscal policies and built a healthy business environment. Properly applied, this model can help address many of America’s economic and governmental problems.

            The first important factor in Utah’s success is fiscal responsibility. In Utah, both the governor and the legislature are legally required to balance the budget every year.[2] Utah’s commitment to this principle has allowed it to escape the massive deficits faced by other states during the last economic downturn. A balanced budget also ensures that the state will maintain manageable debt levels. Consequently, Utah is one of only 7 states with an “AAA” credit rating.[3] Utah has built its fiscal policy on the basic principle that one should not spend more than one earns.

Edmund Burke, the father of conservatism, believed that “Society is a contract between the past, the present and those yet unborn.”[4] Utah’s state government upholds their end of this contract by ensuring that future generations will not be saddled with debt. Careful borrowing protects the state from a vicious cycle of debt, whereby the government must borrow more and more money just to pay the interest on its loans. This cycle has brought many national governments to the brink of default.[5]

            Utah also practices Republican fiscal principles through its tax policies. The Republican Party opposes the federal system of progressive taxation because “We oppose any tax policies that divide Americans or promote class warfare.” They advocate a tax system that is “simple, transparent, flatter, and fair.”[6] Utah applies these principles with a single income tax rate of 5%. The Tax Foundation praised Utah’s tax climate for levying taxes with low rates on broad bases.[7]  This ensures that all groups of society share equally in the burdens of government. A broad, flat tax also motivates all groups in society to be concerned about taxation and government finances. When a tax system allows some groups to pay no taxes at all, it encourages many to think that they can take from society without giving anything in return. Furthermore, a proportional taxation system has no negative incentives for earning more income, thereby encouraging individual enterprise.

            This combination of a balanced budget and fair, simple taxation could solve many of the federal government’s fiscal problems. Previous attempts to require the federal government to balance its budget, such as the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, have failed because they lacked real, long-term legal authority. Only a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution will restore long-term fiscal responsibility.[8] This will force lawmakers to honestly evaluate the necessity of each federal program. Programs determined to be less critical will be streamlined or cut. This must be combined with an overhaul of the US Tax Code, to make federal income taxes simpler and more proportional.

            The second factor in Utah’s economic success is a healthy regulatory environment. Utah’s approach to business regulations was best explained by Governor Gary Herbert: “Government should get off of your backs and out of your wallets.”[9] In that spirit, Utah maintains a low corporate income tax rate of 5%. Utah goes even further in supporting businesses with massive corporate tax incentive programs.

Regarding business regulations, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt warned that “The mechanism of modern business is so delicate that extreme care must be taken not to interfere with it in a spirit of rashness or ignorance.”[10] In keeping with these principles, Utah’s business regulations are under constant review in order to create the most opportunities for businesses, while still safely monitoring externalities. Utah’s health insurance regulations provide an excellent example of this healthy regulatory climate. Jason Sorens, Professor of Political Science at Dartmouth, points out that “Utah’s health insurance regulations are generally light, resulting in less costly policies and more choice for people in the small group and individual markets.”[11] This offers a stark contrast to the increasingly complex and restrictive insurance regulations coming out of Washington. Another important source of economic freedom in Utah is Utah’s right-to-work policy. This protects the economic liberty of both workers and businesses.

            Utah’s support of business is based on the principles of the Republican Party. From its earliest days, the Republican Party has advocated policies that provide opportunities to both businesses and workers. Opportunities for businesses are opportunities for employment, and thus the interests of employers and employees are linked. Republicans understand that it is businesses, not the government, which drive the US economy. They champion job creation as the best way to help citizens help themselves. Conservative thinker Russell Kirk explained why Conservatives defend economic freedom: “To be able to retain the fruits of one’s labor; to be able to see one’s work made permanent; to be able to bequeath one’s property to one’s posterity—these are advantages difficult to deny.”[12] Government economic policies should have the end goal of making citizens self-reliant, not dependent.

            If we are to rebuild America’s economic greatness, we must help our businesses be competitive in the global economy. As former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman put it, “Economic recovery must be earned. And it will be earned by entrepreneurs and small businesses.”[13] Utah’s workforce is already well-educated and multilingual, prepared to compete in the global economy. The state’s support of economic freedom protects the job opportunities that would naturally come to such a workforce. The result is greater prosperity for all. Utah has doubled its international trade over the last 5 years, enjoys the second fastest growing economy in the nation, and boasts an unemployment rate of 3.5%.[14]

            On the national level, many reforms can be implemented to follow Utah’s lead and give more freedom and opportunity to American businesses. The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, at 40%.[15] This is devastating to everyday Americans because, as Ronald Reagan put it, “Business must pass its costs of operations -- and that includes taxes -- on to the customer in the price of the product. Only people pay taxes, all the taxes.”[16] High corporate taxes have also driven many American jobs overseas. The federal government should follow Utah’s lead by lowering the corporate tax rate, at least to a level on par with that of other developed nations. Lowering the tax rate will encourage corporations that have moved overseas to utilize the American workforce. 

             Utah’s economic structure is built upon enduring values of self-reliance, innovation, fiscal responsibility, and economic liberty. Utah has applied Republican principles in building this system which is not only economically healthy, but also morally sound. Utah’s economic success is built on individual enterprise, not government intrusion. These values, and their correlating policies, would help America resolve many of its governmental and economic challenges. Like all reforms, this cause must be advanced by the American people. American citizens must live in accordance with these principles and elect officials who are committed to these reforms. These efforts will bring rich rewards to Americans and their posterity. As George Washington proclaimed, “A people who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see, and who will pursue their advantages, may achieve almost anything.”[17]



[1] William McKinley, “1896 Acceptance Speech,” http://projects.vassar.edu/1896/mckinleyaddress.html.
[2] National Association of State Budget Officers, “Budget Processes in the States,” http://www.nasbo.org/sites/default/files/BP_2008.pdf.
[3] Kurt Badenhausen, “Utah Tops Forbes 2012 List Of The Best States For Business,” Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2012/12/12/utah-tops-list-of-the-best-states-for-business/.
[4] Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, http://www.econlib.org/library/LFBooks/Burke/brkSWv2c0.html.
[5] See Peter Eavis, “For Europe, Few Options in a Vicious Cycle of Debt,” The New York Times, 11 January 2012. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/for-europe-few-options-in-a-vicious-cycle-of-debt/.
[7] The Tax Foundation, “2015 State Business Tax Index.” http://taxfoundation.org/article/2015-state-business-tax-climate-index.
[8] David Primo, Senior Scholar at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, “Act Now to Prevent a Debt Crisis,” US News, http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/does-the-united-states-need-a-balanced-budget-amendment/act-now-to-prevent-a-debt-crisis.
[9] Kurt Badenhausen, “Utah Tops Forbes 2012 List Of The Best States For Business,” Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2012/12/12/utah-tops-list-of-the-best-states-for-business/.
[11] The Mercatus Center, Freedom in the 50 States, http://freedominthe50states.org/.
[14] “2014 Business Facilities Rankings Report,” Business Faculties Magazine, http://businessfacilities.com/2014/08/2014-business-facilities-rankings-report/; “Utah Unemployment Report,” https://jobs.utah.gov/wi/pubs/une/.
[16] Ronald Reagan, “Address to the Nation on the Economy,” http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1981/20581c.htm.  
[17] George Washington, Letter to Benjamin Harrison, 10 October 1784, http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/letter-to-benjamin-harrison-3/

Lincoln Day Essay by Cindy Cossairt

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

By Cindy Cossairt

Let me begin my essay by stating I have a different perspective, “from the outside looking in”.  I was not raised in Utah, nor did I have any relatives that resided within the state.  I chose to retire in the state of Utah.  I could have selected any state within the United States of America or even chosen to have retired out of the country, but I did my research and I’m happy with my final choice - Utah!  More specifically, Heber Valley!

Once you reach a certain stage in your life (in my case, retirement), your goals, outlook and desires for the future become more clearly focused.  I was looking for a location that shared my political views (conservative), the cost of living index was favorable (now that I’m on a fixed income), and had opportunities for recreational activities.  Being able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Heber Valley was an added bonus.  Once I moved here, I was pleased to learn that you must show identification to be allowed to vote in Utah.  Upon attending my first public meeting, I was pleasantly surprised that the meeting was opened by both a ‘Prayer’ and the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’, something that wasn’t done in my previous state.  Sometimes it’s these little things that locals may take for granted, but it means so much to those of us that lived in other states without these protocols.

The founding fathers of our government had a belief in God.  They were grateful for life and liberty and based the government on a moral and spiritual foundation.  This was expressed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Utah has a reputation for protecting religious liberties and safeguarding religious freedoms.  The Utah Republican party platform declares the support for government based upon these Godly values and affirms the right to religious expression, including prayer, in both private and public venues.

The Republican party principle of limited government and taxation are a contributing factor for Utah’s successful economy.  Republicans have a strong history of supporting  families and communities.  A belief that individuals and businesses should be free from government intrusion and remembering that over regulation can become an impediment to productivity.  Citizens must oppose unreasonable and intrusive federal mandates and overreach, as it relates to budget issues and managing Utah’s public lands.  Taxation should only be for essential public needs.  It’s up to our elected officials to control, simplify, reduce or eliminate taxes whenever possible.  Our elected leaders should serve the people, not special interest groups.  The best politicians serve with honesty, integrity, morality and accountability. 

Under article XII, section 20 of the Utah Constitution, it requires the free market system as state policy.  Utah is attractive for companies to relocate because of the low cost of living; an educated workforce with fluency in a variety of second languages; a connection to large universities; an international airport; a business-friendly environment without over regulations; a diversified population; and the natural beauty of our surrounding environment.  According to Governor Herbert in the 2015 State of the State address, Utah has one of the strongest and most diverse economies in America.  “We have the ability to invest in important areas that will drive our economy for decades to come”.  At the end of 2014, Utah had a revenue surplus of 166 million dollars.  Utah is one of the fastest growing states in America.  Governor Herbert further states, “Our task is to take advantage of the opportunities that come with growth while addressing the challenges that growth presents.”  These areas include the balanced management of our air, land and water.  The implementation of air quality standards that will decrease emissions by using new technology, to find funding solutions for long term roadway improvements, and create more infrastructure for our water supply systems.

Educational goals and standards have long been debated in many political forums.  Administrators, teachers and parents need to come together and plan for the future.  Learning from past failures and gaining knowledge from our successes will lead to better student achievement.  Students must learn the importance of the Constitution, the free market economy, and the responsibilities of the diplomatic process (aka: Voting!!).  The best education has local control with two criteria, what we teach and how we teach it.  However, the most important component, is accountability to the taxpaying citizens.  According to the Republican party platform, parents have the primary right and responsibility to educate their children.  They have the right to choose between public, private or home education.

Another area that makes Utah stand apart from other states is that the State Constitution requires a balanced budget.  The state cannot spend more money then what it receives through taxes, federal funds, or any other revenue sources.  According to the Libertas Institute (article dated 1/30/15), 32.8% of the state budget is comprised of federal funds.  The Common Core Grant (re-branded as Utah Core by the Department of Education) and Healthy Utah (the Medicaid expansion program) further intertwines Utah to dependence on the federal government and expanding bureaucracy.  In fact, the citizens of Utah pay more in taxes than what it receives back from the Federal government.  But keep in mind, whenever there are federal funds coming into the state, there are inevitable strings attached.

The Utah State Legislature works in Appropriations Committees to determine State funding.  Each new bill or proposal has fiscal notes attached that estimate the costs or revenue of enacting that legislation.  The fiscal note also determines if there is a one-time cost or an ongoing impact to state revenues or state expenditures.  Every bill must be voted upon by both the house and the senate and signed by the Governor before becoming law, and it must fit within the budget for that year.  It’s a lot of work to do within the 45 day window of the Legislative session.  Utah’s elected senators and representatives serve on a part-time basis.  They still have jobs or own businesses, so they understand that over regulation could affect their own livelihood. 

The Utah Republican party opposes illegal immigration and granting government benefits to those illegally living within the United States.  We would not have encountered the problems we have today if current laws against employing illegal immigrants had been previously vigorously enforced.  We have the right and duty to defend and secure our National borders and shorelines.  However, the Republican party welcomes those immigrants that have lawfully entered into the United States and have become productive citizens through their hard work, dedication and tenacity.

Unfortunately, some of our own citizens have become reliant on government assistance programs.  Utah has many charitable and religious organizations that the individual or family may turn to before applying for governmental programs.  The Republican party would like to require that those people that ultimately end up as welfare recipients, be required to work towards self sufficiency.    

Another important Utah Republican principle is adhering to the rule of law and sovereignty.  The tenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States defines federal powers as those enumerated in the Constitution and reserves all other powers to the states and to the people.  We need to keep to those limits and ensure federal powers don’t exceed those granted by the Constitution.  Republicans have a long history of believing that individuals, not government, make the best decisions...and those decisions are best made by individuals close to home.  Personal responsibility as given in the second amendment (the right to bear arms), and the foundation of our society (traditional marriage) are constantly under attack by special interest groups.  Laws change with the ebb and flow of society, but the Constitution must be valued, honored and upheld.  As citizens, it is our responsibility to elect politicians and hold them accountable for their actions, or as the case may be, their inaction.

The best summation for why Utah is one of the best managed states can be found in the Utah Republican party mission statement:

“The Republican party is a party by the people and for the people.
We appreciate the productivity of our citizens,
Affirm the infinite worth of all individuals,
And seek the best possible quality of life for all.
We invite all citizens to join us in working together for a better Utah.”


This is the basis for building a firm foundation for a successful, thriving state.  The Federal government would be in much better shape today if they were to adhere to the strict interpretation of the Constitution, recognizing State Sovereignty, and the limited role of government in regards to both regulation and taxation.  Hopefully, one day the Federal Government will also learn to live within a budget, just like we do here in Utah!

Lincoln Day Essay by Bryton Roper, 1st Grade

“Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

Bryton Roper, 1st Grade


Why I think Utah is a great state is there are not many robbers here in Heber or not much robberies either. Because there is not much robberies there is not much robbers which is basically the same thing and the people are nice there which makes Utah a great state too. So the battle between us and them in my opinion, was that we are going to win. If we succeed our soldiers will not fight any more and get to see their kids which will be good. But unsucceed or for short, failure, would be bad. And the Republican principle which is smaller government well the smaller government the less bills you have to pay. If there is no government then that would be good and bad. The good about it is that you wouldn’t have to pay the bills. The bad about it is there would be no rules and some people would come and wreck the court building which costed $1,000,000,000 dollars to build so people would just be wasting $1,000,000,000 dollars on a building to wreck it with a wrecking ball. I think that is kind of stupid because wasting money is bad and it is stupid too. We need better places, we need better people, we could use more people. Why else I think Utah is a great state to live in is because it’s one of the states with the most money and because there is things that other people don’t have. 

Lincoln Day Essay by Shelby Gabrielson, 4th Grade

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

Written by: Shelby Gabrielson 4th grade

            Utah is widely regarded as one of the best  managed states in America. Because of so many reasons let me tell you why. Utah has limited government because we follow Republican principles.  Utah's government does not try to be all things to all people. A society helps those in need rather than the government throwing more money at it. The Utah government lets us fix our own problems. But in Illinois they are a Democratic state. Their government tries to be all things to all people. Instead of letting the society help those in need the government throws money at it. That makes debt. And debt raises taxes. Utah debt is $12,500 per person. Illinois debt is $25,000 per person.

            In Illinois to pay off the debt they raise taxes. Illinois has a lot of debt to pay off. So they have high taxes. In Utah we don't have a lot of debt. So our tax rates aren't very high. Companies want to build in Utah because we have low tax rates. Companies bring jobs to people and jobs brings money to support families. Because most of the people in Utah have jobs, they can support their families. Utah has very strong families. Families intend to give their children the hope of a better tomorrow, and the promise of a safe and secure today.

            Utah is one of the best managed states in America. Because we are Republicans we believe that we should be able to solve our own problems and limit our government. Doing that makes Utah have low tax rates, freedom to make your own choices, big companies, strong families, and so much more. Utah can be a model to other states in America. Other states can follow Utah's examples by limiting their government. You don’t need the government always fixing your problems. They will just throw money at it. In Illinois they rely on the government day and night. Look where that got them, tied with California for the worst managed state in America. If they would just limit their government maybe they wouldn't be the worst managed state in America. Limiting their government will lower tax rates. Lower tax rates will make companies want to build there because it is cheaper to build, and support a big successful company. If alot of companies build in that state more people will have the chance of getting jobs. When people have jobs they have money to support their family, it will make strong and successful families.

            Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America because we are Republicans. We believe things like limited government, freedom to make your own choices, and so much more. These things make Utah better in so many ways. Utah can also be a model for other states. Utah shows other states that you should be able to solve your problems by yourself. That is why Utah is one of the best managed states in America. 

Lincoln Day Essay by Caleb Roper, 7th Grade

“Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

By Caleb Roper, 7th Grade

Utah is one of the best-managed states in the United States of America. What Republican principle values benefit people in Utah? What principles make Utah one of the best-managed states? To decide how well states are managed, they look at the state’s debt, revenue, employment, crime, education, and health of the citizens that live there. States that have strong Republican principles are higher up on the list of well-managed states. One of those principles is to stay out of debt. This is a really good habit to have because when something comes up and you need a little bit of money, the last thing you need is to know that you owe money to someone else and it’s always nice when you have enough money to share.

Republicans believe in being thrifty with other people’s money. They believe in having smaller government. They like it when less people are in charge and they feel like they have a choice. They believe no one should be forced to give their hard-earned money to people who don’t want to work. The believe that everyone should make their own living but they understand that sometimes people get in a situation where they are sick or lose a job and need a little help. Republicans like to choose if they want to give money to help people.

Republicans believe in freedom of choice when it comes to healthcare, education, and employment. Freedom of choice matters because without freedom people will lose the motivation to want a job or an education, especially when it’s easier to just take money from the government. Eventually though, the government will run out of other people’s money.

When it comes to education some people believe that if you spend more per student then they will get better test scores. Utah has proven that you have can spend less and still learn and have really good test results. Utah spends less per student than any other state, but the test scores are some of the top in the country. In Republican principles, that proves that you don’t have to go into more debt or take more tax money just to give your child a good education.

Republicans believe that they don’t have all the answers and they are open to other people’s thoughts and ideas. They try to be tolerant and they believe that everyone can have an opinion to share. It’s important to listen to other people so they feel included.

In order for a state to be well-managed, people have to want to live there. There has to be less restrictions and more options so businesses can grow and people can have good jobs. That attracts people to Utah and the more people, the better. Keeping our lakes, buildings, trails, and other resources clean and ready to use also brings people to Utah.  Republicans have done a lot of things to help Utah be a well-managed state and that’s something that I think the rest of the country should pay attention to so we can all be successful. 

Lincoln Day Essay by Michelle Holmes

“Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”


By Michelle Holmes

As a newcomer to the world of politics I have been researching a great deal to discover what my beliefs are and what party they line up with. The more I studied the more I realized that I already knew what my beliefs were, I just hadn’t ever put them into words. When I read descriptions of the values of the Republican Party I realized that was exactly what was in my heart. I’m a strong believer in God, faith, family, and freedom and believe the overreach of the Federal Government needs to be put back in check.

I did not grow up in a traditional home; it was a home of divorce and a home without faith, without a focus on education, without lessons that prepared me for my future and for adulthood. Because I didn’t know any differently, I vowed to leave the state of Utah the first chance I had and never come back.  When I was 16 years old, my mother moved out of the state and left me here. I went to live with my biological father for a while in Reno and was exposed to a life of gambling, cheating, drinking, smoking, parties, drugs, unemployment, greed, slothfulness. It was then that I realized what values Utah had that I didn’t even know I cared about; community pride, serving others, traditional family values, faith in God, a strong economy built on the belief that you should provide for your own family and take care of your neighbor, and a love for the freedom to create your own path in life.

I left Reno after a few months and returned to Utah where I was taken in for a short time by the late Rebecca Lockhart, former Speaker of the House, who had also previously been my church leader. I wasn’t with her for long but I remember her family’s passion for politics and their love of their state and country, and for each other. I wanted to correct my path and follow in the example that she set for me; I wanted a strong family that cared about who they were, what they did, and how they changed the world. She was the first woman in my life that I considered to be a role model.

My path started out rocky and took some unfortunate turns but it has led me to where I am today and I will never leave Utah if I can help it. I plan to spend the rest of my years here, raising my family, expanding my world view, being the change I want to see in the world, and passionately serving my spouse and my fellow man. I have had my eyes opened to the cause of freedom. I have seen the values that Republicans hold dear starting to erode and slip away toward a socialist/communist government.

Utah is one of the last great states, holding on strongly to these values, but we need to hold stronger! I have no doubt in my mind that traditional marriage between a husband and wife who raise their children together gives those children the best possible start in life as they grow to become independent adults. I have no doubt that the rights that we have are not rights that were granted to us by the government, this cannot be, for they were never given any rights other than what the people they represent have authorized for them. The rights that we have must, then, come from a higher power who has authority over all and who is truly the one who granted all men their own unalienable rights and free agency. I believe that we have the right to work and to not be over-regulated and over-taxed. A strong economy comes from allowing its citizens to flourish. I believe in charity as a choice of the free will. One of the greatest things a person can do for their soul is to come to the aid of another. When the government takes our income to divide it up as they see fit, even when that includes taking care of the needy, they have deprived us of one of the greatest blessings and experiences we can have, they take the opportunity from us to connect ourselves to others and to our Maker.

I strongly believe in parental rights, especially when it comes to education, healthcare, discipline, and religious upbringing, and I believe the state and federal government needs to greatly limit their involvement in the roles of parents to that which is only absolutely necessary.

These Republican principles are what I believe turned my life around. The strength that I feel when I follow those values is what motivates me to work harder, get more involved, and give more of myself. The success of Utah can easily be attributed to the beliefs of the Republican Party. Utah is the top in the country for family life, recreation, business, freedom in education, low taxes, college graduation, low poverty and low unemployment. The drive to work and provide for your own family, make education a priority, and give of yourself when and where you can, is something the rest of the country could follow and Utah is leading the way!

Lincoln Day Essay by Kayla Gabrielson, 7th Grade

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

written by: Kayla Gabrielson, 7th grade

            Republican principles have a huge impact on the success of our state. Republicans believe in a smaller government, so that the government doesn't overpower the people in the state, and so that citizens don't rely on the government. Republicans also believe in a low tax rate, so that the government does have money to help the public, but have a good control on the amount of taxes. Utah is a great example for the rest of America. Republicans help with many things but tax rates and a small government have helped the most with the success of our state.

            A small government is better, states that rely on the government turn people into a bunch of freeloaders. We are so successful as a state, because we rely on businesses. Businesses will provide us with resources that we need. The government will just misuse our money resources. California is ranked as the lowest managed states along with Illinois. Both California and Illinois have a big government, and a Democratic government. Democrats believe that citizens can't make their own choices, and that the government should have lots of  power over the people in the state. If the government over powers the state the citizens won't be able to make their own decisions, or have a say in what happens to their state. These states should change how much government they have and replace it with businesses. A small government is the way to go that is one reason why Republican principles have a huge impact on the success of our state.

            Republicans believe in a small tax rate so that the government can help out with the public, but not have enough money that they can just throw half of it away. Citizens need their money to pay all their expenses such as a house,  a car, their families, phones etcetera. With high tax rates citizens won't be able to support their house, cars, families, phones, and so on. Government is in a big cycle of borrowing money, then spending money that they don't have, then raising taxes to pay it off, and on it goes. Illinois is a great example of this cycle, they have a debt of $204 billion in bills. If Illinois would have had more businesses their government wouldn't have had to raise the taxes, and be in debt by so much. Small taxes have a huge impact on why Republican principles have such a huge effect on how well managed our state is.

            Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. Republican principles have a big impact on the success of our state. Utah is a great model for the challenges facing America. Republicans believe in a smaller government, and more businesses instead, because businesses create resources that we need. Republicans also believe in small tax rates so that citizens can support themselves and their families. Smaller tax rates are also good so that the government doesn't have that much money to waste. That is why Republican principles have such a big impact on the success of our state.